Being the Change

2020-21 BTC Calendar: Ruth Bowers-Sword


Graduate biology student Ruth Bowers-Sword (’20M) just returned from a semester conducting research far off the grid and deep in one of the most biodiverse yet threatened tropical forests of West Africa. With funding provided by the W. Dean Cocking Scholarship, Ruth lugged her survival essentials, plus pen, notebook, cell phone and precious battery to collect data using acoustic monitoring and forest transect surveys to complete her thesis research project: “Assessing hunting pressures and the population status of the Critically Endangered Preuss’s red colobus monkey, Piliocolobus preussi.” Ultimately, she hopes her research will help support the protection of this Critically Endangered primate species and improve conservation strategies. Ruth's scholarship donor, retired JMU biologist Emily Branscome (’78M), immediately connected with Ruth’s commitment to ecological research and recognized her as a fitting tribute to Cocking’s legacy as a JMU pioneer in ecological research.

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Published: Friday, October 4, 2019

Last Updated: Thursday, January 13, 2022

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